That video of an Alexi Giannoulias supporter shoving a Republican cameraman has gone from a minor spat between Giannoulias and Kirk to an ugly dispute between neighbors at the Madrigal Lofts, the D.C. apartment building where the Giannoulias fundraiser took place.
As POLITICO reports, Michael Kosmas, the heavy who was seen getting into the cameraman’s face, later knocked on the door of the woman who invited the video tracker into the building. She says he used “inappropriate and threatening terms.” When a security guard escorted the woman to Kosmas’s apartment, so she could counter-complain, “One of Mr. Kosmas’ guests answered the door…and commented aloud that ‘it’s the bitch from the roof,’” according to a letter sent to the Giannoulias campaign by the woman’s lawyer. Kosmas “would not commit to refrain from repeating the situation,” and bumped the woman on the shoulder, the letter claims.
At this point, the dispute no longer has anything to do with the two campaigns. The tracker was employed by the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Kosmas, a lawyer for a D.C. lobbying firm, is obviously a rich guy who wanted to raise money for a fellow Greek-American. When a guy with a video camera crashed his party, Kosmas let his inner jerk run wild.
It’s now a D.C. story about a fight between two neighbors who don’t agree politically. Obviously, that happens a lot in D.C., but it’s rarely caught on camera. Nonetheless, both campaigns are trying to spin it for political advantage here in Illinois. An NRSC spokeswoman suggested Giannoulias is a big bully because he “has failed to repudiate the physical altercation that took place during his fundraising event, and he has failed to denounce this kind of predatory harassment and intimidation against a young woman.”
Giannoulias spokesman Matt McGrath refused to apologize, calling the incident a “media stunt.”
Does this mean we’ll see fewer video trackers in politics? Hell, no. It probably means we’ll see more. These young folks sacrifice their bodies and their egos for the candidates they serve. If they get roughed up or insulted by their targets, they’ve done their job. That kid succeeded in his mission of generating bad publicity for Giannoulias.
I’ll bet it means that Michael Kosmas doesn’t get invited to anymore parties with Alexi Giannoulias, though. Giannoulias needs to give the man his donation back and tell him, “You’re dead to me, adelphos.”